No, not what we’re supposed to do FREQUENTLY with our computers and other devices.
No, it’s not the backing up you do when you need to get out of a parking spot.
It’s the kind of backing up where I need to fill in some of the blanks from my sad lack of blogging over the last several months. So, I’m going to give it a shot to get this little corner of the internet back up to speed (whatever speed that is!).
First up – our zipping out, zipping back, six night, four motels, trip to Texas last week. (Was it really just last week?)
Our time in Texas was pretty much all SOWER all the time! And while the Trustee meeting was of upmost importance (at least for Gary), the Texas Round-up that happened early in the week was certainly the highpoint for us!
It was a bit smaller this year thanks to our constant life-interrupter COVID-19, but it was special in so many ways! Among our group were at least two couples who hadn’t done any projects yet (and one of those was a ‘second generation’ SOWER – Mom and Dad had served years ago! We had even worked with them back in 2008!). Others had just completed their first project, and some only had two or three under their belt. It was so exciting and encouraging to see that we ‘seasoned’ SOWERS were outnumbered by the new kids on the block. I loved meeting these new folks that the LORD has brought into our ministry!
Along with wonderful fellowship we also were blessed to be part of constructing 10,000 (yes, that’s ten thousand) booklets of John and Romans to be sent overseas.
Part of the collating team
The staple team
Thousands ready for the next step –
They’ll get trimmed and then packaged to go. It was inspiring to think about this portion of God’s Word getting into so many hands – and hearts, we pray!
Working on that Scripture project was very meaningful and I’m so glad it was incorporated into the Rally. But there were also many, many light-hearted moments as well!
Like jelly bean balancing
Or jelly bean rolling
or (my personal favorite) Peep Target shooting
(Photo creds to new SOWER (and friend) Michelle Malek!)
Our Game Masters (Gail and Wayne) kept us thoroughly entertained. (or perhaps we were the ones entertaining them!)
While laughter was an ever present guest at this gathering, there were some serious moments too. We had some Group Leader training (with lots of good questions) and a Q&A for the trustees that were present. With so many new-ish SOWERS it was a wonderfully informative time.
We finished off the Round-up with a ‘formal’ banquet hosted by the ALERT Academy staff.
Complete with a harpist.
What a lovely evening!
All of the laughter, inspiration, encouragement, and fun made for another excellent gathering of our SOWER Family!
If you’d like to see additional photos (along with pictures of individual couples in attendance) you can check them out here!
I’m not gonna lie – it was an exhausting week. But oh the joy that came with it!
Now some of you might be wondering just what a “Round-up” is. Well, in our SOWER world a Round-up is simply a gathering of SOWER friends – both old and new for a weekend of fun and fellowship. Here is a little write up done by my good buddy, Kim, that went into the April eNewsletter –
GOOD MORNING TRINITY PINES!!!! was the familiar call to order before daily morning devotions at the March TX “Round-Up”. Host Trinity Pines director Phil Springer, as well as Forest Glen and Camp Cho-Yeh directors each took a turn leading devotions, blessing, inspiring and challenging us through the Word and personal testimonies. And as if that wasn’t enough – gregarious games, fantastic food, titillating talent, cozy campfires, melodious music, an amazing auction, tremendous Trustee/Office Q&A and SOWER family fellowship rounded out our days and evenings.
So let’s just unpack that a bit…..
Oh my! Everything from toilet paper races
to kayak races
to archery contests –
to a game of hot potato with an ice ball (I asked for an ice-breaker and they took me literally!)
EVERYONE had a good time with the wide variety of games that we played!
From the hot dog roast that started our event
to our delicious meal at the dining hall
to our always favorite pot-luck dinner
no one can say they went home hungry!
A favorite event of any Round-up/Rally/Reunion is the Talent Show. Serious
or funny –
all talent is welcome! What fun we had!
We kept the campfire going from early morning for the coffee crowd
till late at night.
We even enjoyed a movie night under the stars –
(Nothing’s quite as fun as a group of seasoned RV’ers watching “The Long Long Trailer” with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez!)
We all enjoyed a time of praise and worship each morning, and even managed to put together a couple of “Choir” numbers!
Plus, there is nothing quite as stirring as 60 SOWERS singing our official SOWER Song – Our Best
A long standing tradition at a SOWER Round-up is the auction. This year was no exception!
We had everything from essential oils to homemade sticky buns to RV equipment to adorable potholders! No pictures of the auction itself, but we raised over $3200 for the SOWER ministry so we think that’s a pretty good thing!
Tremendous Trustee/Office Q&A
Every SOWER Rally also likes to include a Trustee Q&A. This year we had two board members, Jenny and Kim, along with our two office staff, Ray & Alean. It was a great chance for folks to ask any questions about our guidelines and offer suggestions to help improve our ministry.
It’s always a profitable time!
And finally –
SOWER family fellowship
This is truly what a SOWER Round-up is all about. Connecting with new friends, reconnecting with old, and being reminded again (and again!) what a wonderful family we are all a part of.
It was a stellar couple of days – we are so very blessed to call these folks brothers and sisters in Christ. Our Family!
There are additional pictures HERE if you’d like to check ’em out.
Or, if you have a couple of minutes, some should scroll through below!